Cyborg-lit: Book about transhumanism wins Wellcome prize

LONDON — A book that explores the quest to defeat death with technology has won Britain's medically themed Wellcome Book Prize.

Mark O'Connell's "To Be a Machine" beat five other finalists Monday for the 30,000-pound ($41,000) prize, which aims to bridge the gap between literature and science.

The Irish writer visited cryogenic labs, Silicon Valley tech firms and cyborg startups for his non-fiction exploration of transhumanism, which seeks to overcome human frailties by merging people and machines.

Artist and writer Edmund de Waal, who chaired the judging panel, said O'Connell's book was "a passionate, entertaining and cogent examination of those who would choose to live forever."

Funded by the Wellcome Trust foundation, the prize is open to all fiction or nonfiction works published in Britain with a health or medical theme.

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